Cabinets can devour the bulk of a budget during a kitchen remodel. If you decide to reface rather than replace your cabinets, be forewarned: Doors and drawer fronts account for the greatest expense. "Sixty to 70 percent of the cost of the cabinet is the door," says Jeff Cannata, past president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and president of Designer's Showcase Kitchens & Baths Inc. in Carol Stream, Ill. "So, if you're paying someone to put a new door on or a new drawer in ... it might be more affordable to purchase all new cabinets." And with new cabinets, there's an added bonus: the freedom to explore different kitchen layouts.
Use beadboard to line a cabinet with glass doors or even open shelving to create instant, old-fashioned appeal, says Susan Sully, author of “Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques." The book features this 18th century farmhouse kitchen in Alabama.
“Designed for wine lovers who enjoy entertaining often, this wet bar was installed in the dining room where they host dinner parties, holiday meals and entertain most of the time,” says designer Nathan J. Reynolds. “Next to the kitchen, it’s a convenient place for additional counter space for mixing drinks, plating desserts, or serving coffee and after-dinner drinks.” The design includes a Kohler sink, Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer drawers, and a Sub-Zero wine refrigerator. “Glass cabinets above the wet bar distinguish it from the rest of the workspace and showcase handsome glassware and collectibles,” he adds.
According to glass insert manufacturer Bendheim, refacing your cabinets costs about 20% of what replacing them would cost. Plus, it’s a project you can do yourself over a weekend without losing the use of your kitchen. There are plenty of options besides plain clear glass: you can choose from etched (shown), fluted, crackled, colored or patterned glass, and set off your new look with interior cabinet lighting.
Glass cabinet doors are an excellent option for homeowners wishing to display their dinnerware. In this kitchen designed by David Stimmel, the glass-front cottage cabinets display beautiful mint green dinnerware, providing color in this otherwise white kitchen.